Sometimes I meet clients who are reluctant to give their dogs treats. They think their dog should do as they say without any ‘bribes’. However, this is based on outdated, unscientific dog training methods which used punishment and force. New dog training research shows that there are loads of good reasons to treat our dogs!
Here are just a few…
1. Excellent Positive Reinforcer
Treats are a great and simple way to reward your dog for behaviour you like. They can be used for new behaviours you are teaching your dog, as well as behaviours they already know well.
For example, if you want to teach your dog to come back to you when you call, the easiest way to encourage and reward the behaviour is by giving them a treat whenever they come to you!
2. Easy to Adapt Treat Value
You can very easily change the value of your reward when using treats.
For example, if you are asking your dog to do something they already know and find easy (like a sit in your home), they will probably be able to do it for any treat or even a piece of kibble! However, if you are asking your dog to walk nicely on the lead in a busy environment, you will probably need a much higher value, smellier treat that they really love.
Using treats makes it very easy to swap between the different values of rewards.
3. Builds Your Relationship
Training your dog is so much easier when you have a relationship with each other!
Rather than your dog obeying you because they are scared of you or see you as ‘the boss’, your dog should see you as a person they choose to take direction from because they are a kind leader. Giving your dog treats is an excellent and easy way to build this relationship!
4. Builds Positive Associations with You
By giving your dog treats, your dog will quickly learn that good things come from you! They will be more likely to spend time with you, trust you, listen to you and come back when called.
5. Uses Your Dog’s Sense of Smell
Smelly treats are a great way to get your dog’s amazing nose working! Sniffing is a naturally calming behaviour for dogs so hiding some smelly treats around your home and garden is such a simple way to encourage them to get sniffing.
These are just some of the many reasons to treat your dog. Use high quality dog treats and use them effectively to prevent unwanted weight gain.
And don’t forget, you can buy top quality, healthy dog treats at the Rosy Paws Shop…
Links and References
American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/dog-training-treats/
Deldalle, S. and Gaunet, F. 2014. ‘Effects of 2 training methods on stress-related behaviours of the dog (Canis familiaris) and on the dog-owner relationship.’. Journal of Veterinary Behaviour 9(2): 58-65.
Importance of Sniffing for Dogs: https://rosypawsedinburgh.co.uk/blog/f/why-do-dogs-sniff-and-what-are-the-benefits